MOT failures caused by simple problems could be costing UK drivers £82m a year. Can you spare two minutes to give your car a better chance to pass its next MOT test?
So, it’s MOT time for your car, and you’re petrified it’s going to fail.
The truth is, you’re right to be worried – around 40% of cars fail their MOT test. But all too often the failure is caused by very minor issues.
In fact, the most common reasons for MOT failures in 2011 were all pretty trivial: lighting and signalling (164,837 failures), tyres (96,760) and headlight aim (82,555).
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is now urging car owners to spend a minute or two checking their car before its MOT test, claiming you could save a lot of money if you do.
The SMMT thinks the number of MOT failures that could be cut as a result of these simple checks is 1.5m each year. With the current MOT fee standing at £54.85, that’s potentially more than £82m being spent unnecessarily by UK drivers every year.
10 checks to save you from an MOT test fail
So what’s included in the SMMT’s two-minute pre-MOT test checklist? The 10 checks are:
1. Headlights and indicators working
2. Brake lights working
3. Number plate legible
4. Wheels and tyres legal
5. Seats and seatbelts undamaged
6. Windscreen undamaged
7. Windscreen wipers effective
8. Screenwash topped up
9. Horn working
10. Fuel and engine oil levels sufficient
Another one I’d add is your dashboard instruments. As of March 2013, MOT testers also look for illuminated or non-functioning dashboard warning lights, such as the power steering indicator and brake fluid warning lamp. So check your lights all come on then go off when you turn the ignition. Another new check is that your speedometer is working.
Doing MOT checks yourself
But would you actually do these checks yourself? The design of most modern cars does not make owner maintenance easy, and many drivers shun working on their cars, preferring to leave checks to the professionals.
If that sounds like you, there’s some good news. You probably don’t even need to do these checks yourself. The SMMT has persuaded every car manufacturer in the UK to offer assistance to customers who are unsure about carrying out the checks themselves – so you can probably persuade your local main dealer to do it for you.
Which checks do you complete before your MOT test? You can pick multiple answers
Headlights and indicators working (11%, 399 Votes)
Brake lights working (11%, 384 Votes)
Windscreen wipers effective (10%, 375 Votes)
Wheels and tyres legal (10%, 372 Votes)
Number plate legible (10%, 359 Votes)
Windscreen undamaged (10%, 353 Votes)
Screenwash topped up (9%, 341 Votes)
Horn working (9%, 332 Votes)
Seats and seatbelts undamaged (8%, 300 Votes)
Fuel and engine oil levels sufficient (8%, 291 Votes)
I don't do any checks before my MOT test (3%, 110 Votes)
Total Voters: 528